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White Florida officer acquitted of shoving black woman

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — A South Florida jury sided Monday with a white Florida police officer charged with pushing a kneeling black woman to the ground during a protest more than two years ago.

Broward County jurors acquitted Fort Lauderdale officer Steven Pohorence, 31, of a battery charge, the Sun Sentinel reported. The jury was made up of three men, two of whom were black, and three women. The offense was punishable by one year in prison.

Prosecutors said Pohorence pushed a then 19-year-old protester who was kneeling during one of the protests across the United States following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Prosecutor Chris Killoran said Pohorence was frustrated at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Fort Lauderdale when he pushed the woman, which was an unnecessary and criminal overreaction.

Defense attorney Michael Dutko said the woman’s raised arms were level with the officer’s gun, and the video evidence was unclear whether the officer and woman had indeed entered into a contract.

Pohorence had been placed on unpaid administrative leave after being charged. It was not immediately clear if or when he would return to work.

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ABC News

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